DMC has years of experience successfully implementing custom IIoT, or Industrial Internet of Things, projects.
DMC’s Approach to IIoT
DMC offers full-stack IIOT development services from edge device firmware to cloud-hosted web applications. Building on years of industrial integration experience, DMC not only works to deliver high-quality technical solutions, but also support the development of business utility and defined ROI for IIoT investment. Expanding the Sense-Infer-Act model* of IoT development, DMC applies these founding principals to all IIoT solutions ensuring the relevant data, the information presentation, and ability to act are innate components of the technical solution.
Built on firm business strategy, our technical team begins platform selection and architectural direction following a five-part procedure:
- Edge Device Platform Selection
DMC assists our clients in choosing the best platform for their project. From 10 edge devices to 10,000 units, DMC engineers can help guide the development process that best fits your business. Identifying early the proper field platform can drive significant long-term cost savings in both per-unit cost of goods, as well as recurring maintenance and support.
- Determine Communications
Transmitting information from the field (or the edge) to networked storage solutions and applications (the cloud) is fundamental to the success of IIoT applications. DMC engineers work to ensure security, data integrity, bandwidth, and transit costs are carefully optimized per application requirements. DMC consistently works with widely adopted IoT protocols like MQTT, HTTP, and AMQP, as well as less common mesh and long-range low-power wireless protocols.
In developing your preferred communications layer or protocol, consider the following:
- Whether that data is one directional or bidirectional
- How frequently that data needs to be transmitted
- Priority levels of data being transmitted
- Required bandwidth to transmit the data
- Transmission interface, e.g. via cellular modem or Ethernet
- Encryption and security requirements
- Determine Server Platform
DMC's IIoT solutions are tailor-made for cloud deployment but also can be easily adapted to on-premise infrastructures. Based on the customers’ existing infrastructure, our engineers will determine whether a Microsoft-based platform, Amazon, or Google solution will be right for the client. As a Microsoft Gold Partner, we have a high number installations on Azure, but additionally have many installations on a variety of cloud platforms including AWS and Google Cloud Services. Our team creates instances of different services each with a different function: one that hosts the website, one that hosts the API and another that hosts the database. This makes our provided solution modular, robust and scalable.
- Web Application Development
Based on the data available and any other existing user interfaces, DMC’s engineers will create a “story board” of the website design to demonstrate how the user will interact with the system via the web application, as well as preliminary styles. Working with our internal UX/UI design team, our Application Development team will build the web application from the ground up, typically using REACT or .NET. Our engineers build a custom API to interface the data to the website. DMC can also configure and provide the data to a variety of off the shelf IoT solutions, such as ThingsBoard.
- Go Live & Maintenance
We have internal processes to produce and make changes that prevent downtime on the live service. Once the solution is deployed, we will test it thoroughly with the customer and set up the devices to connect and interact with live data. Testing this with the customer gives us the opportunity to flush out any issues and make any changes just once. DMC can allow the clients’ internal team to manage the application, or our team can provide the maintenance and support for the cloud service and application.
Learn more about DMC’s approach to IIoT projects and real-world examples.
Benefits of Working With DMC
DMC can be a single point of contact for application development services and for PLC programming services. Many consultants are only able to handle a portion of this project, which requires more project management overhead to coordinate the interface between the PLC and the cloud. DMC has the expertise to manage the entire project lifecycle and complete full stack development.
DMC’s team can complete a full stack IIoT solution or project from start to finish. Our expert engineers can complete the PLC programming, communications, the background applications (API), and the front-end user interface construction using .NET and React, and User Interface design. As Microsoft Gold Partners, we can work on setting up the best Azure cloud solution for the application.
Custom MQTT Driver:
DMC has a fully developed, on the shelf and ready to go, MQTT driver.
Our packaged, custom MQTT driver drives communications from a Siemens PLC to the cloud and vice-versa. The MQTT broker is housed on the cloud server and acts as a communications hub for all of the devices. DMC wrote a custom MQTT driver that allows us to not only send data, but receive data from the cloud. Additionally, all data can be encrypted.
There are other MQTT systems in the market, but none of them can receive data from the cloud. This allows our solution to control the Siemens PLC, or other devices, from the cloud. Additionally, our Custom MQTT Driver works directly on Siemens 1200 and 1500 PLCs without the need for additional hardware.
Custom Developed Application for OEMs
Our IIoT solutions are an excellent opportunity for Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) due to our full stack programming. Our overhead and reoccurring costs are lower than other off the shelf IIoT solutions. The cost of our solution is low due to utilizing our MQTT Driver and previous IIoT applications. This makes our IIoT opportunity better for smaller companies and OEMs. We don’t require extra pieces of hardware, which in turn makes our building material cost lower.
Relevant Technologies and Platforms
Certifications and Partnerships
DMC is a Microsoft Certified Gold Partner, a premier Siemens Solution Partner, and a National Instruments Alliance Partner. We are also a certified member of the Control Systems Integrators Association (CSIA) and have passed a third-party audit of over 200 criteria. Our partnerships and certifications recognize that DMC’s engineers are leading industry experts.
As a Siemens MindSphere Gold Partner, DMC has technical staff trained by Siemens through the MindSphere technical curriculum, multiple MindSphere applications developed or being developed, and a joint go-to-market agreement to assist our customers in achieving substantial business value through IoT technology generally and MindSphere specifically.
Learn more about all of DMC’s partnerships.
DMC can complete IIoT projects within a wide range of industries including the Agriculture, Automotive, Food and Beverage, and many more industries. With offices in Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Houston, New York, Seattle, and St. Louis, we offer IIoT solutions nationwide. Contact us to get started on your project today.
*Fleishman, Hod. “It's 2020. Let's Stop Saying ‘IoT." (Part I).” Forbes, 7 Jan. 2020, www.forbes.com/sites/hodfleishman/2020/01/07/its-2020-lets-stop-saying-iot/#5639e2aa73dd.